I hope things work out so you can attend the show this year. I ran the show for 10 years, first in Chicago and then in St. Louis. Lots of collectors have asked the same question over the years.
Yes, by Wednesday afternoon, most in-room trading will be over, mainly because everybody will be setting up in the ballroom between 1 and 5pm Wednesday. Back in the dark ages 30 years ago, in-room trading became a tradition while impatient collectors waited for the main ballroom of the show to open, normally on Thursday morning. Some collectors showed up as early as Monday, and some still do.
I’d recommend that you contact Vic Engel and get your own table at the show. Then, you can bring tons of stuff to sell and trade and not have to worry about hauling it around as you go from table to table. Plus, you’ll have a comfortable place to sit down and relax. I promise, you’ll need it. In addition, you’ll have a “base of operations” during the show to store your new stuff and trade/sell your old stuff. At just $55, a six-foot table is a real bargain, and you’ll be very glad you got one.
After saying that, I hope Vic has a few tables left. I look forward to meeting you there.